Nobody told Reina Lemus de Zelaya that her job as a farmworker was hazardous not only to her health, but to her unborn child.
So when Lemus de Zelaya was pregnant with one of her daughters, she continued working in the agricultural fields in Florida. Not only was she continually exposed to pesticides while pregnant, when her daughter was born she even brought her baby to the fields in a stroller. No one warned her to do otherwise. Read more
Inaction? Intransigence? Negligence? Whatever the right word, we’re reminded that the U.S. is behind the curve when it comes to protecting bees. Yesterday, Europe’s restrictions on bee-harming pesticides went into effect. Today, in a full-page advertisement in the New York Times and six other major papers, Pesticide Action Network (PAN) and over 60 other food, farm, faith, and investor groups called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to take action to protect bees. Read more
Keeping politicians on message can sometimes be difficult. That also holds true of corporate chiefs and movie stars. Even the most seasoned, media-savvy folks veer off their talking points on occasion. But that’s not the case with the pesticide industry and its clientele. Read more
With other options exhausted over the past two years, beekeepers and partner organizations are now suing EPA to protect pollinators. We’ve filed over a million signatures from concerned individuals, a legal petition and a notice of intent to sue. And all to little avail. Now we’re upping the ante. Read more
A growing number of people in the United States are becoming interested in organic food and farming, and the known and undiscovered risks of using pesticides in conventional agriculture is one of the main issues driving this movement. Yet most people are unaware that once a pesticide is pulled off the market because it is shown to have dangerous effects on peoples’ health and the environment, we allow corporations to continue manufacturing and exporting that pesticide to other countries–even just a few feet across our borders.
This horrendous US policy is what inspired our team to create the documentary, Toxic Profits, a film exploring the use of toxic pesticides in modern agriculture and the people most affected by this practice. I first learned about this issue as a law student doing research on the USDA’s National Organic Program, but it wasn’t until I was in Guatemala earlier this year that I saw the health and environmental harm that the global pesticide industry is causing. My trip inspired me to bring national attention to this issue, so I teamed up with my good friend and filmmaker Nick Capazzera, and my partner, chef and sociologist Shannon Post, to start a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds to make this film. Read more
Today is Memorial Day, a day when many across the country will stop and remember the meaning of military service and the ultimate sacrifice so many gave—and are still giving. Remembering is what the day is all about. And yet sometimes we can do more than reflect. We can honor vets by listening when they speak, and acting at their urging. Right now, they’re talking–and they’re asking for our help on an issue important to every one of us.
Center for Food Safety strongly supports last week’s Vietnam Veterans of America appeal to President Obama on the hazards of 2,4-D resistant corn, developed by Dow Chemical Company, to dramatically increase use of the company’s toxic 2,4-D herbicide. Make no mistake, this is an effort rooted in profit and market dominance, not science. The Vietnam vets of this nation know all too well the price to be paid when the truth is hidden from sight. Read more
A new coalition is trying to throw sand in the gears of industrial agriculture’s chemical treadmill. And this one just may have what it takes to slow it down. I’m referring to the fight over USDA approval for Dow AgroScience’s new genetically modified corn seeds (brand name “Enlist”), which are resistant to the herbicide 2,4-D.
This is part of biotech’s “superweed” strategy, by which they hope to address the fact that farmers across the country are facing an onslaught of weeds impervious to the most popular herbicide in use, Monsanto’s glyphosate or RoundUp (and in some cases impervious to machetes as well!). Of course, this is a problem of the industry’s own making. It was overuse of glyphosate caused by the market dominance of Monsanto’s set of glyphosate-resistant genetically engineered seeds that put farmers in this fix in the first place. Read more
Recently pesticide manufacturer Arysta LifeScience agreed to stop selling the cancer-causing strawberry pesticide methyl iodide in the United States. It was a tremendous victory for the 200,000+ farmworkers, farmers, rural residents and environmentalists that worked over the past several years to pull a chemical that one scientist called “one of the most toxic chemicals on earth” off the market.
One of the central figures of this battle from the get-go, both behind the scenes and in the media spotlight, has been Paul Towers, Organizing & Media Director for Pesticide Action Network (PAN). Read more
Hats off to this mother of three who got fed up and took charge. Thirteen years ago, Sofía Gatica’s newborn died of kidney failure after being exposed to pesticides in the womb. After the despair came anger, then a fierce determination to protect the children in her community and beyond.
Today, she’s one of six grassroots leaders from around the world receiving the Goldman Environmental Prize, in recognition of her courageous—and successful—efforts. Read more
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is currently deciding whether or not to approve an application by Dow Chemical for its controversial genetically engineered (GE) corn variety that is resistant to the hazardous herbicide 2,4-D. 2,4-D and the still more toxic 2,4,5-T formed Agent Orange, the defoliant used in the Vietnam War. After receiving pressure from organizations like the Center for Food Safety (CFS), the USDA extended its public comment period until April 27–just a few weeks from today. There is overwhelming public opposition to this crop. To date, 155,000 comments opposing approval of 2,4-D corn have been collected by environmental, health, and farm groups. Read more